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Name: Phyllis J. Trump Crace
Spouse: Ken Crace
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1943 Attended from through

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Birthdate: January 1, 1925   
Date of Death: November 12, 2016  

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Phyllis Jean Crace, 91, of Columbia City passed away at 6:06 p.m. Saturday, November 12, 2016, at her son's home.

Survivors include her son, David (Jo) Crace, of Churubusco; two grandchildren, Aimee (Nicholas) Wentworth, Angola and Philip (Sirena Rodrigues) Ellert, both of Columbia City; four great-grandchildren; four nieces and nephews including, Rick (Monica) Trump, Steve (Deb) Trump, Sandy Trump, all of Fort Wayne and Dottie (Joel) Zobitz, of Prescott, AZ.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Ken Crace; son, Matthew Crace; brother, Robert Trump; half-brother, Harold Lancaster; half-sister, Pauline Goldsworthy, and niece, Ginny (Trump) Coco.

Visitation is 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, November 15, 2016, at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home with Pastor David Arnold officiating. Burial will follow at Greenhill Cemetery.

Memorials may be given in her memory to the American Cancer Society or Columbia City United Methodist Church Phoebe's Circle. Please visit to send family condolences or to sign Phyllis' online guest register.

A woman who lived by her convictions and cherished those entrusted to her care, Phyllis Crace enlightened all with ways all her own. With her Christian faith and values, Phyllis lived by way of example, serving her children and everyone who knew her, well. Her love was unconditional, and she was always ready with a loving hug and welcoming smile. She used the adversity that came her way to help others all while sharing her faith as an example of genuine kindness and caring. Phyllis considered herself blessed, and for all that she gave and more, she will be fondly remembered.

Phyllis' story began at a time of rapid growth in the U.S. The heyday of the Roaring Twenties, the nation's can-do spirit was alive and well which was reflected in America's love of baseball, jazz music, and Chaplin movies. Yet for of Joe B. and Naoma R. (Humphries) Trump, nothing compared to the exciting New Year of 1925 when they were blessed with the birth of their little girl, Phyllis Jean who made her way into the world on January 1. Born in the city of Fort Wayne, Indiana, the Trump family made their home in nearby Columbia City where Phyllis was raised alongside her siblings.

As a young girl, Phyllis had a love for learning and attending school. She played on the very first Columbia City High School Girl's Basketball Team, even though her parents, especially her mother, were not too happy with their daughter playing a boy's game. Faith always played an integral role in Phyllis' life from her earliest years. It was that very faith that saw her family through the worst years of the Great Depression.

During her youth, Phyllis enjoyed many close friends and all that life had to offer. It was while roller skating with friends at the Happy Valley Roller Rink when Phyllis met the love of her life, Ken Crace. The two began dating, and after graduating from Columbia High School with the Class of 1943, Phyllis began working at General Electric in Fort Wayne while Ken went on to serve in the U.S. military overseas during World War II. While awaiting Ken's return for their wedding, Phyllis and one of her good friends excitingly boarded the local train and headed to Chicago in search of her wedding dress. Having selected a lovely gown at Saks 5th Avenue, her now, well-preserved, 70-year-old dress will soon be proudly worn at her great-niece's wedding. Needless to say, Phyllis was so happy about the upcoming nuptials and her wedding dress being worn after all these years.

Even as Ken served in the military, Phyllis pondered the idea of serving with the W.A.C., the Women's Army Corps, but gave up the idea. Ken eventually returned home to Phyllis at the war's thankful end, and on June 1, 1947, they happily shared blessed vows of marriage. Phyllis' ever positive nature was evident even on their rainy wedding day. She believed in the old wives tale that if it rains on a wedding day it signifies good luck for the couple's future. Without a car, Ken was able to borrow one for their honeymoon and although they were very poor, they were extremely happy.

Phyllis considered becoming a mother to their two sons, Matthew and David to be one of her greatest blessings. She made a good, loving home for Ken and their boys, and she took comfort in the little things in life. Saturday evenings were always important to Phyllis and her family. It was a family tradition to go out for dinner, using this time to get caught up on family activities. Decision making was also a family affair. If she and the three men in her life had any issues, wants or needs, it was discussed and decided upon around her kitchen table. With a thorough explanation, they would each have to explain the circumstances and then it would be decided by the "Crace team."

A woman of unwavering faith, Phyllis read her bible daily and she loved reading in general, particularly about history and Christian novels. She was also considered the Crace and Trump family historian as she found it gratifying to look up family history and their lineage. Her church family was another important part of Phyllis' life. She was a longtime member of Columbia City United Methodist Church where she served on the church board, the Building Committee, as a Sunday school teacher, the Phoebe Circle, on the Administration Council and as a member of United Methodist Women.

With quiet faith, Phyllis lived by example. She never pushed her beliefs, yet with a grace and humbleness all her own, she was always ready to share a kind word. Many found it hard to believe Phyllis was a private person, however, around family friends she was very open and shared unending hugs and love. No one ever heard a foul word from her, and what truly shocked those who knew Phyllis best was in knowing she quite often felt like she could be a better person. It was simply in Phyllis' nature to be humble, genuine, and sweet in all she said and did.

During times of difficulty and misfortune, Phyllis was one to comfort and say, "Everything always works out". Even on the day her beloved son, Matthew passed away in a tragic car accident, Phyllis had the wherewithal to visit the driver of the car her son was riding with. She shared that the driver was not to blame and was wholeheartedly concerned. Even in recent days, Phyllis kept a relationship with the driver, having held a close bond throughout the years. While most other parents would have become bitter and angry, Phyllis ministered. Following her son's death, Phyllis worked through her grief by joining the Whitley County Compassionate Friends where numerous times she helped other parents in Whitley County work on their own grief issues

After working in the offices at GE for 15 years, Phyllis was then associated with the Peoples Bank before retiring in 1991 as an assistant manager. She then began assisting her husband in the operation of Ken Crace Real Estate and Appraisal, Inc.

In addition to her service at church, Phyllis was also a member of the Sorosis Literary Club, Whitley County Compassionate Friends, and on the board for the Light House Homeless Shelter as well as a board member for Columbia City Parks Board and the Delta Theta Tau Sorority.

Phyllis spent her free time enjoying crafts like candle wicking, sewing, and knitting. Come rain or shine, she never missed her weekly hair appointment. Most recently, and every time she needed to be taken to the hospital for care, she was sure to get her hair done before being admitted! More than anything, Phyllis loved spending time with her family who brought her the greatest joy.

Ever gracious and humble, Phyllis Crace lived with a servant's heart. From her family to her friends and church, she gave from the heart. She lived each day she was given forever blessed by God's graces, and in the hearts of all who will deeply miss her, she will be remembered for her unfaltering example of love, humility, and joy.

Last Updated: 11-15-2016 Alumni ID: 12060
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2005 Columbia City High School Alumni Association     This page last modified 09/27/2006